Working for a parcel delivery company makes Christmas a little stressful. Unfortunately retailers and e-commerce seems to have convinced us that everything in this world can be delivered almost instantly. The time between online shopping and delivery is closing all the time. Next day is often just not good enough. you would hope that sometimes common sense would prevail? After all – Christmas has been on the same day every year for quite some time now. If ‘Little Johnny’ really needs that toy for Christmas or the world will end, then how about you spare a thought for how busy every carrier company in the world is at this time of year, how difficult the weather conditions might be (sometimes it snows in Winter and that can make driving in some areas very tricky) and don’t fall for the spin from online retailers who promise you that if you order before midday on the 23rd of December it will be a guaranteed delivery on christmas eve. They lie! They hope, they cross fingers, they take your money without a second thought for reality and they leave it up to the carriers to take the flack.
So, rant over, (for now) with ‘Peak’ rapidly approaching I decided to grab the last opportunity I would have for some time off before Christmas day and use up a few of the day’s holiday I couldn’t take into the new year. Use them or lose them!
The Man did the same and he found a bargain mini break in Berlin. I had never been to Germany and Matt was keen to meet up with a friend that lives there so we booked it. Three days, two nights, a super quick tour, a Christmas market or two and a catch up with old friends.
The most obvious thing that comes to mind when thinking of Berlin is The Wall.
On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) began to build a barbed wire and concrete “Antifascistischer Schutzwall,” or “antifascist bulwark,” between East and West Berlin. The official purpose of this Berlin Wall was to keep Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it primarily served the aim of stemming mass defections from East to West. The Berlin Wall stood until November 9, 1989, when the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the GDR could cross the border when they pleased. That night, ecstatic crowds swarmed the wall. Some crossed freely into West Berlin, while others brought hammers and picks and began to chip away at the wall itself. To this day, the Berlin Wall remains one of the most powerful and enduring symbols of the Cold War. (Source – History.com)
If you really want to feel, and think visit the Holocaust Museum and the memorial. We didn’t have time to visit the museum but it’s something I want to do when we go back, and we will be going back. It’s a fascinating City with a rich and emotional history, a public transport system that works perfectly and Christmas markets that will get even a humbug like me in the mood.